‘Smart and Sustainable’: Using Big Data to Improve Peoples’ Lives in Cities – New University of Reading Position Paper Published

Smart and Sustainable’: Using Big Data to Improve Peoples’ Lives in Cities – New University of Reading Position Paper Published

Drawing together expertise from across the University of Reading (including the new  Institute for Environmental Analytics the School of Construction Management and Engineering has recently launched a new position paper in which it is argued ‘big data’ and ‘smart thinking’ both provide powerful potential benefits for cities, but on their own they do not provide valid solutions for today’s urban problems.
Key messages
• ‘Integrated approach’: Cities need to develop an integrated approach to smart and sustainable thinking which joins up the best elements of smart technologies and sustainable practices. Developing inclusive visions for cities is fundamental to this goal, and putting people at the heart of any future vision for a city is critical to success.
• ‘Innovation is vital’: Cities need to recognise the benefits of using big data to improve the quality of life for its citizens through improved decision-making and better information and customer service. This needs to recognise the challenges around privacy and security. Urban innovation is a critical concept which lies at the heart of the big data revolution.
• ‘Interdisciplinary thinking matters’: We need to develop better R & D to help provide solutions for today’s urban challenges. Developing partnerships between civic society, business and academia is vital and these must also connect through to the SME sector. Interdisciplinarity, or interweaving different disciplinary approaches, must be at the heart of our R & D in smart and sustainable cities and big data solutions.

For further information and to download the paper:

Using big data to improve city life

Tim Dixon

Professor Tim Dixon
Chair in Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment
Co-Director of TSBE Centre
School of Construction Management and Engineering
University of Reading

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